Auto-rickshaws stay off roads in Bhubaneswar as drivers stage strike

Bhubaneswar: Thousands of auto-rickshaws stayed off roads in Odisha capital today as the drivers resorted to strike protesting the alleged humiliation by agitating bus drivers yesterday.

The Smart City Online Auto Association gave the strike call, which has been supported by around 10,000 auto-rickshaw drivers.

The auto-rickshaw services also came to a grinding halt in Cuttack and Puri. However, the three-wheelers related to emergency services have been excluded from the ambit of the strike.

Commuters who are dependent on auto-rickshaws for intra-city transportation suffered due to the strike.

Worth mentioning, the auto-rickshaw drivers had not joined the strike called by the Driver Ekata Manch. Several auto-rickshaw drivers were allegedly humiliated by the agitating bus drivers, yesterday.

As per allegation, the bus drivers forced the auto-rickshaw drivers to hold placards with objectionable statements and heckled them.

Notably, the bus drivers have launched strike across Odisha for an indefinite period demanding fulfillment of their 10-point charter of demands.

The agitating drivers staged demonstration at various places in the state and resorted to picketing. The agitators were seen stopping commercial vehicles on National Highways.

Formation of a welfare fund, death benefits, social security including pension after 60 years of age are among the demands of the drivers.

However, All Odisha Bus Owners’ Association, Truck Owners’ Association and Auto-rickshaw Owners’ Association have not joined the agitation.

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